Last year I was lucky to win one of Annette’s calendars. Well 2016 is over and I really thought the calendar was too cute to just hand it over to the trash bin. So: What to do with old calendars? I asked myself.
The crazy wreath making time of the year. I was going to show you a different one from what you see right now. The one I planned (for two years), made and then I realized I can’t show you because my mom reads along… So I had to come up with another idea.
Looking around in my chaos that is my craft lab the idea of a cozy advent wreath hit me. Well maybe it was because I am all crazy about my french knitting lately. So why not combine the two and make a nice simple french knitted advent wreath, right?
Let’s make this french knitted advent wreath:
1. You need: a wreath form, glue (gun), wool and a french knitting tool.
2. First you have to make your yearn thread (or as I call them sausage). I used a ball of 50 meter yarn for a xx cm wreath form.
3. Decide your layout. You could wrap it around the form or you could layer it starting in the middle. I decided on the latter.
4. Next one is simple. Glue to the form. You can pull the thread a bit if you need. I did that towards the end because I thought it might not be enough. In the end I was left with a bit extra to make the little bow.
5. Time for decoration and candle attaching. You need four nails, candles and deco material to your liking.
6. I clipped of the nail heads with pliers. Then I heated the nail over a candle flame and drove them into the candle. I learned that the candle will not break as easily if you heat the nail. Due to the wick it is often tough to place it directly in the center. If you manage that would be preferable so that the candle will be straight on your wreath. Otherwise it could be a bit tilted.
Now comes the fun part of decorating your wreath. I already liked the clean look of the braided style of the thread so I just added a few sparkles by glueing little bells onto the wreath. (As you can see I didn’t use the lavender ribbon I originally intended.)
As this wreath is made of wool and tall candles it’s really nothing I want to leave unattended in a room. So maybe I would add some metal candle holder in a future project.
Now I am curious. Have you made your advent wreath already? What does it look like? Please leave a link if it is on your blog/Instagram. I always love looking at other creations.
It is time for a DIY on the blog. It’s not that I haven’t done any crafting, painting or diying lately. It just didn’t end up on the blog.
But I made this french knitted fall necklace and I am already in love with this style and I anticipate a few more coming.
As a kid I was doing this craft for hours. I was the queen of french knitted robes. All my stuffed animals had leashes, I made little pouches, coasters and what not. And I remember I always got frustrated of limited possibilities. Only robes… boring.
But lately I had the urge to do this craft again and what can I say. Hooked. Just like back then. I have quite a few wool sausages laying around already. I have more some ideas of what else to make.
But today I want to show you my blue necklace I made. (The how to of french knitting can be watched best on YouTube.)
I always wondered how it looks when you end up knitting beads into the robes. Well I tried and it is fairly simple.
I stringed a bunch of star beads onto my thread before I started knitting. If you know approximately how many beads you will be needing it is easier because you can just do this before starting. Otherwise you would have to unravel your entire ball of thread.
Then I just placed them randomly and kept knitting as if they weren’t there. However I only used 3 out of my 4 thingies (what is it called? Teeth? Lips? You know what I mean). I think otherwise it would have been a bit tight.
In the end I just tied my three robes together. Added a chain and glued it all into the end piece. And done I was. Now I will add this to RUMS. Will I see you there?
I have a confession to make: I am not big into Easter decorations at all. Heck I don’t even own Easter decorations. Usually it’s just a pot of flowers and that’s about it.
I grew up with a one simple decoration. Every year we would cut some birch twigs and put them in a huge vase. On Saturday before Easter we would then hang easter eggs to decorate. And as I grew up in a area in Germany where there is a minority called Sorbs living, most of our eggs where made in their traditional way – at least that’s how I remember.
Since last year I was having the urge to give this craft another try. I remember we did it as kids but the eggs probably looked horrible. Maybe I can find some on this year’s Easter bouquet.
The sorbs have four different techniques for decorating their easter eggs but I only know how to do the wax batik technique. Wax is applied with special quills to the eggs shell and in various usually very detailed and complicated patterns. Then it is dyed. Different colors can be achieved by dying in many different steps and in-between applying more wax.
To make Sorbian Easter Eggs with the wax batik technique a bit of preparation required though.
I recommend doing this technique on blown out eggs. It is time consuming and it would be sad to have them broken on Easter morning. However it’s up to you but make sure to boil them before starting to craft. Usually the eggs have stamps on them that need to go. With a bit of soap and a brush or sponge you usually get it off. You could also use nail polish remover but you really need to wash the eggs carefully afterwards otherwise the dye will not stick.
Feathers are your drawing or better stamping tool for this craft. It’s important to get feather from the wings and goose feathers* are recommended. Then you cut of most of the thin hairlike thingies left and right of the bone of the feather until you have only the tip left. (Sorry not sure how that is called in English but you hopefully know what I mean.) Now you cut your shape. (I just read that a cutter is better suited than scissors… Well next time…) For basic patterns you would need a triangle, a drop, diamond and a arrow shape. The dots are made with the heads of a pin.
In the picture below you can see what kind of (traditional) shapes can be made with those basic tools:
Once you have the quills you need the wax. It is important to use a mixture of regular candle wax and bees wax. The bees wax makes it more flexible to apply and also easier to get off as it melts faster. You also need a tinplate spoon. I used mine out of New Years Eve lead-pouring kit. Then set up you station by curving the spoon in a 90° angle and pushing it into a flower pot. Place a tea light underneath and add a bit of wax to the spoon. Now you are ready to go.
How to do Sorbian Easter Eggs.
Your first egg will probably look horrible. Its ok because it’s to learn how the quill works. It is important to work fast and with a steady hand. Not always easy.
Put your quill to the wax and make sure its fully soaked (first time) or fully melted (after already using it). You can see tiny little bubbles.
Now press the quill to the shell and remove immediately. I found it to be practical to remove the tip by slightly moving it towards your body (always making sure you don’t mess up the pattern). If you let the quill rest too long the wax will melt and then you have to jerk the quill away and usually this results in tiny wax drops all over the egg shell.
When you are done with your pattern you can dye your egg. Use only cold dye otherwise the wax will melt. If you are planning to do a two colored egg you only need to have it in the dye a very short time. Otherwise the difference is hard to see.
The following picture shows the steps for a simple wax batik egg with only one dyeing:
1. your cleaned egg // 2. wax is applied // 3. after dyeing // 4. after wax is removed
And here you can see the steps for a two colored egg.
1. your cleaned egg // 2. first coat of wax applied // 3. after first dyeing // 4. second coat of wax applied on dyed surface // 5. after second dyeing // 6. after wax is removed
You get the idea. You can go with multiple dyeing rounds when your pattern requires it. My brain however can only think ahead two rounds.
4. Once you are done with your egg you can start to remove the wax. We used to do it over an gas flame but this time we put the eggs in the oven. Preheat oven to 50°C/120°F, put paper towels on your grate or baking pan and add eggs for about 3 minutes. Wipe of melted wax with an old rag. Tada and you just made your first Sorbian Easter Egg.
How to do patterns.
This is the hard part, something coming with practice I guess. However I found it useful to divide up your egg by either going in a circle from top to bottom or by making a line at the thickest part of the egg. This gives some direction to help with the symmetry. And symmetry is key when it comes to Sorbian eggs. For more complicated patterns I thought it was easier starting from the middle and working your way out of the pattern. I saw online that some people predraw the patterns with a pencil. I don’t understand how this works as you can’t get it of once the wax is covering it. Maybe after dying but that requires the dye covers the rest of the predrawing. Well you figure it out and let me know.
Only a few more days until Christmas. Are you all done on your shopping list? Or did you plan on doing lots of handmade gifts this year? If so you might enjoy my round-up of last minute DIY Christmas gifts (click on the pictures for the full post and tutorial).
1. Homemade Tea
I am a big sucker for chai teas. Mostly they are way too sweet for my taste. You are with me? Make your own.
But then on the other hand there is nothing better than a hot cup of green tea for breakfast, no?
2. Baking goods
Do you love baking? Do you have friends who love baking? Why not make them a little baking kit with lots of supplies?
3. Star Hair Accessory
Making hair accessories is actually quite simple. Here is a sparkling one.
4. Tea Cup Cozies
Just a fun litte way to spruce up a cup. Perfect for any home lover and foodie.
5. Velvet Bracelets
Too lazy to be doing your DIY. How about buying DIY like those gorgeous holiday bracelets.
6. Homemade Candles
If this isn’t the season for candles I don’t know. How about making your own and being creative in form and smell and look?
7. Hand Stamped Napkins
During holidays we get all fancy and in my house it’s all about cloth napkins to get this festive feel. Here is how I made my dad some for last Christmas.
8. Colorful T-Shirt
It looks a bit summery but this tutorial also works on sweaters. Maybe with a reindeer? (only in German)
9. Cake Pop Ttuffles
For people who have everything it can be so complicated to find a gift. Or maybe you just need a little hostess gift for the Christmas party? Well here you go. (only in German)
10. Fabric covered Bracelet
A girl can never have enough bracelets, right? And specially when they are made of fabric or leather matching the favorite shirt!
Well so much for the round-up. Now its your turn the get started. Will you share if you do a project? I would love to see your version.